FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2012
SCHUMER CALLS ON NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO APPROVE PARKING PERMIT FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS EVENT IN BREEZY POINT, AS THEY HAVE IN YEARS PAST; WITHOUT APPROVAL, ACCESS TO FESTIVITIES FOR MANY VETERANS COULD BE SEVERELY LIMITED
Wounded Warriors Application for Parking Permits At Gateway National Recreation Area Was Denied Leaving Disabled Veterans Without Immediate Access to Event Location
Schumer Urges National Park Service To Make Parking Available Near Rockaway Point Yacht Club, As it Has for Past Years’ Events
Schumer: Our Veterans Fought For Us Abroad – They Shouldn’t Have To Fight For Parking In Queens
United States Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the National Park Service (NPS) to approve a parking permit requested by the Wounded Warriors Project’s annual Adaptive Water Sports Festival in Breezy Point, Queens. The 52 participating veterans, some disabled, need access to a parking area behind the Rockaway Point Yacht Club, the main location for the event; the space is administered by NPS. After Gateway National Recreational Area declined to authorize the parking, saying it did not have the authority to issue the permits, Schumer appealed to the NPS Director’s Office in Washington to immediately issue the permits under their own authority and ensure the veterans’ program could proceed.
“Our veterans fought for us abroad – they shouldn’t have to fight for parking here at home,” said Schumer. “This parking venue has been made available to the Wounded Warriors for their event in years past, and it is unacceptable that the park is standing in the way of accommodating our veterans. Issuing the permit is a no-brainer and I will fight to make sure the event can continue as planned, and am calling on the National Parks Service to resolve this situation with all due speed.”
The annual Adaptive Water Sports Festival at Breezy Point is a special event for the country's veterans and underlines the Breezy Point community's great history of honoring servicemen and women. The event teaches adaptive waterskiing, surfing and other water sports, providing support for service members returning home with disabilities.
52 veterans, some of them seriously disabled, plan to participate in this eighth-annual Festival at Breezy Point, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday, July 15. The participating wounded warriors need access to the parking area in the rear of the Rockaway Point Yacht Club which is controlled by Gateway National Recreation Area. However, they are being denied access by the Gateway officials of the National Park Service.
Today, Schumer called on the NPS to support our brave veterans and this respectable event by approving the permit. Wounded Warriors have received parking approval for previous years' events, but this year Gateway NPS officials have denied the permit request, stating that they do not have the authority to approve the permit, a waiver must be administered by the National Park Service in Washington. In a letter to Director Jarvis, Schumer urged for NPS to grant the waiver and allow continued use for this event as it has in the past. Without access, participating veterans, some with severe disabilities, may not be able to participate in the event.
“The Wounded Warriors, under the leadership of Flip Mullen and the whole Breezy point community, do an amazing job of honoring our service men and women. They welcome them with open arms and, through this weekend festival, provide some fun and a real measure of recognition and gratitude that is beyond well deserved. They should have every logistical detail facilitated, not complicated, by the feds,” continued Schumer.
A copy of Schumer’s letter is below.
Dear Administrator Jarvis,
I write to urge you to approve a parking permit at Gateway National Recreation Area for the Wounded Warriors Project annual Adaptive Water Sports Festival in Breezy Point, Queens. This is the eighth-annual Festival at Breezy Point, and this year 52 veterans, some of them seriously disabled, will be participating. The event will be held Sunday, July 15 and NPS must support our brave veterans and this respectable event by approving the permit.
The annual Adaptive Water Sports Festival at Breezy Point is a special event for our country’s veterans and underlines the Breezy Point community’s great history of honoring servicemen and women. The event teaches adaptive waterskiing, surfing and other water sports and provides support for service members returning home with disabilities.
The 52 wounded warriors participating will need access to the parking lot in the rear of the Rockaway Point Yacht Club which is controlled by Gateway National Recreation Area. Wounded Warriors has received parking approval for previous years' events, but Gateway recently denied the permit request stating that they do not have the authority to approve the permit. The authority to allow the park to approve the permit does sit with your office, and there is not a question that approval should be given to this worthy cause immediately.
I appreciate your prompt consideration and attention to this important matter. I look forward to your response.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer